Detroit Tigers pitching coach Rick Anderson will be away from the team for about a week to attend a family matter, manager Ron Gardenhire said Tuesday.
After Monday’s 9-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Comerica Park, Anderson returned to his hometown near Seattle.
“I don’t want to get into the family thing,” Gardenhire said, “but there’s a health issue with one of his family members, and he’s going to be there.”
Bullpen coach Jeff Pico will take over the pitching coach duties, while Triple-A Toledo pitching coach Juan Nieves will come up from the alternate training site to handle the bullpen responsibilities.
[ Tarik Skubal: ‘More aggressive’ approach was key in start No. 2 ]
Since pitching prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal were called up from Toledo on Aug. 17, Anderson, 63, has been influential in their development through two starts apiece.
Both 23 years old, Mize has a 7.04 ERA with nine strikeouts in 7⅔ innings, and Skubal has posted six strikeouts in 4⅓ innings with a 10.38 ERA. Mize is the organization’s No. 2 prospect; Skubal is ranked No. 5.
For subscribers: Mize’s rough day shouldn’t worry you. This Tigers great struggled early, too
Outfielder Cameron Maybin returned to the lineup Tuesday for the first time since Thursday’s game, which is when he departed in the seventh inning against the White Sox with right hamstring tightness.
Since then, the Tigers have used a mix of Victor Reyes and Jorge Bonifacio in right field. For Tuesday’s contest, the Tigers are putting Reyes in left and keeping Christin Stewart, who homered in Monday’s loss, on the bench.
“He said he’s good,” Gardenhire said Tuesday. “He said he could’ve played yesterday, so then you always say, ‘Oh, I’ll give you one more day. In batting practice, I’m going to watch him to make sure everything’s OK, but he told me he’s good to go. He can pinch-run, whatever you need. That’s good enough for me.”
[ Tigers waiting for Christin Stewart to improve offensively. Is Monday HR a sign? ]
Maybin, 33, has successfully avoided his second stint on the injured list this season. On July 13, he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain and didn’t return until Aug. 14.
In 11 games, Maybin is 6-for-32 (.188) with one home run, one RBI, two walks and 11 strikeouts.
“A little more veteran leadership out there,” Gardenhire said. “He’s good in the clubhouse and all those things in the dugout, but you need play. He needs to play and get his swing going.”
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.